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Wancourt is a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais. It lies in the valley of the Cojeul River nearly 2 kilometres south of the main road from Arras to Cambrai. Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery is situated on the south side of this road.

feuchy-chapel

Historical Information

Wancourt was captured on 12th April 1917 after very heavy fighting, lost in March 1918, and retaken by the Canadian Corps on the following 26 August.

The cemetery was begun by the VI Corps Burial Officer in May 1917, used at intervals until March 1918, and again in August and September 1918. At the Armistice, it contained 249 graves, all in the present Plot I. It was then enlarged when 834 graves (mainly of April and May 1917) were brought in from the battlefields of Fampoux, Roeux, Monchy and Wancourt, and from a few smaller burial grounds.

There are now 1,103 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War in this cemetery. 578 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 14 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate six casualties buried in Feuchy Chapel Quarry Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

*  Information above courtesy of the CWGC website.

Three men of the 10th (Service) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment who lost their lives at Arras on 11th April 1917 rest here at Feuchy Chapel Cemetery.

10th Battalion War Diary

11 April 1917. Arras

During the night, orders were received that the L.N.Lancs were to continue the advance and attack at 05:00hrs going through East Lancs and attacking the trenches, having as our objective the ‘Green Line’ and in particular the wood (Tilloy).

05:00hrs
The Battalion having previously got into position for such advance, almost immediately came into full view of the enemy and was met with very heavy machine gun and shell fire.

05:30hrs
We received orders not to advance until barrage opened. By this time, we had carried by assault, the enemy trench in front (east of Sunken Road) and were establishing ourselves in shell holes 100 yards further east.

It was at this time that Captain Peskett, 2nd Lieutenant Ibbotson and 2nd Lieutenant Goodman were killed.

During this assault, we suffered very heavy casualties and were being enfiladed from Monchy Le Preux. The right flank, perceiving that they were in the air and appreciating the fact that if it remained as such, there was a likelihood of their being outflanked, boldly determined to risk all and assaulted a small trench running southwards from Cambrai Road in the direction of Guemappe and about 30 yards east of Sunken road before mentioned.

A tank apparently also appreciating the situation in a like manner, came to their aid.

On obtaining possession of the trench, Corporal Leonard and Lance Corporal R. Dinwoodie and six men were all that was left. These eight men boldly bombed along the trench southward killing more than a dozen Bosche, taking three prisoners and found themselves in complete possession. To their almost surprise, seven Bosche officers miraculously appeared apparently from nowhere. This was not a time to stand on ceremony, whereupon the officers suffered the same fate as their men. Two machine guns were captured in this gallant assault, but as the new garrison were so weak in numbers and fearing that they might eventually be in their turn evicted, they blew them up.

These men retained possession of this trench as did also Captain Gravett, ably assisted by Second Lieutenant Deacon (being the only two officers now left) and CSM Webster with sixty men, made themselves masters of the situation of the corresponding trench running northwards from the Cambrai Road. Here the garrison remained throughout the day, although there were signs of the enemy massing for a counter attack from the south.

It was about this time that Second Lieutenant Parker died after being badly wounded.

The Commanding Officer and Adjutant, having collected enroute stragglers of all Battalions to the number of about fifty, arrived on the scene. By this time, and with the assistance of the these reinforcements, Captain Gravett was the complete master of the situation. From this time onwards, reinforcements of officers and men from other Battalions kept arriving.

13:50hrs
The Commanding Officer sent in a report to the General informing him that the situation had improved considerably and he had made plans for bombing parties to proceed along both sides the Cambrai Road and to attack the enemy trench after nightfall, which was about 300 yards in front of our line, as it was not deemed advisable at the moment to advance further, knowing full well that we were well in advance of all troops on our right and left, besides which in our present position we had command of a good field of view.

During this period Second Lieutenant Deacon received two wounds, but would not desert his Captain or his men.

About three hours after entering the trench, some of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, acting as Infantry, came up on their left. This gave them some breathing space.

During this time men of the East Lancs and 10th L.N.Lancs oozed from shell holes and thickened the line of fire to our front line and could also enfilade the enemy on our right where the troops on that flank would advance further.

17:00hrs
We received orders that we would be relieved at 18:30hrs and immediately informed Captain Gravett to hold himself in readiness to be relieved. This relief was not completed until 01:00hrs. The men being in a very exhausted condition withdrew to Tilloy where we spent the remainder of the night.


George TONG

tong-cwgc

Born and enlisted in Bolton. Sailed to France with the first deployment of the 10th Battalion on 31st July 1915. Awarded 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal. Died of Wounds on 11th April 1917. War gratuity paid to his mother, Mary.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 16835
Date of Death: 11/04/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Grave Reference: I. A. 16.


George GRIFFITHS

george-griffiths-10th-cwgc

George Griffiths was born in Chorley, and was living with his wife Mary Jane Griffiths at 23 Gilbert Street, Pall Mall, Chorley when he enlisted in the Army at Preston. First served with the 9th Battalion.

Rank: Private
Service No: 31884
Date of Death: 11/04/1917
Age: 24
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Grave Reference: I. A. 33.


Alfred BARNETT

alfred-barnett-10th-cwgc

Albert Barnett was born and enlisted at St Helens. Resided at 19 Balfour Street since at least 1907. Previously employed as a house painter.

Married Barbara Elisabeth Bamber at St Helens, 5th December 1907, and had three children; Albert, b. 20th April 1908, Joseph, b.5th April 1911 and Freda, b. 6th February 1916.

On 27th December 1915, aged 30 years 7 months old, he joined the Army Reserve Class ‘B’ and was called up in May 1916 and was posted into the 2nd/12th Battalion LNL with the number P1847. The medical officer described him as being 5ft 6in tall, weighing 121lbs and of fair physical development.

He landed in France on 13th November 1916 and was transferred to the 10th (Service) Battalion and given the number 27630.

Rank: Private
Service No: 27630
Date of Death: 11/04/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Grave Reference: I. B. 25.

Photographs courtesy of Roger Morlidge, September 2016

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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